Advice For The Class of 2018

Advice For The Class of 2018

Get ready: this year is going to be a good one.
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Congrats! You made it! You're a senior! Pretty soon, you'll be where I am, packing up your room and heading off to the next chapter of your life. But hold on, slow down a bit. You've still got some time left here in high school, and senior year can be the most exciting or stressful time, depending on what you make of it.

Most probably, you're thinking of heading off to college next summer. Good choice, because so far, college is pretty great. Applications have been out for about a month now. If you're stressing, DON'T! You still have plenty of time. Make sure to do your research carefully, but don't worry about picking your dream school just yet. Work hard on your applications; remember, that stack of paper is the only thing colleges will get to know about you, so make sure all of it counts.

But, don’t stress yourself out unnecessarily either. Just because that stack of papers and list of numbers is all colleges see doesn’t mean that defines you. It’s incredibly important to remember that! You are a lot more than that, my friend. Don’t lose your mental health over something as silly and trivial as this. One of the biggest lessons I learned while applying for college is that it really does not matter where you go, it matters what you do once you get there. Aim for the highest and the best, but don’t be disappointed if you missed. You’re still going to great, great, great things. Take it from someone who was denied from her dream college, the University of Chicago, but who's still doing fine for herself wherever she ended up. There’s still plenty of opportunities. Oh and, make sure you don’t procrastinate. You have plenty of time, of course, but don’t wait for the last moment either. Do a little bit each day, or a little bit each weekend. This way, it’s much less overwhelming and leaves lots of room for continued mental functioning.

Once you’ve submitted your applications, reeelllllaaaaaxxxx. Relax. It’s over, you can’t change anything and nothing’s gonna happen when you’re fretting over it. You did it! You applied! Celebrate! And then, take a seat, preferably by the window, and get ready for the best year of high school. I’m not exaggerating when I say this. Senior year is by far the best year. By now, you know the lay of the land, you know the teachers, you know the people, you know what’s happening, so you can just enjoy the moment. Enjoy your last high school dances, go out with your friends, explore your hometown. Make time for old friends; you'll regret it when they leave and you didn't get to say goodbye. Have fun, go to parties, be excited for graduation, do those things that you’ve always wanted to do while in high school, because this is your last chance to do them. Don’t leave high school with regrets. But also, don’t forget to keep studying hard, stay on top of your grades—colleges really do look at all of your senior year grades.

On your last few days, remember to pause a bit to be thankful (even though all you want is to get OUT OF SCHOOL). This school is where you came from, where you learned, where you made friends, where you’ve spent so much of your life. Even if you hated it, it’s important. Say goodbye to your favorite places, favorite teachers. (Read this article on What They Didn't Tell You About Graduating and share it with your friends).

Senior year is going to be great. Just believe that it will be, and do what’ll make it great for you.

Cover Image Credit: Avondale High School

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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Five Tips to Get on Top of Your 2019: Tech Editions

Yeah, there's an app for that.

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Technology is the course of the future, why not use it to get on top of your new year? Make 2019 the year you stop sleeping on these great productivity apps and get grinding! Best part, all the apps I've included here are free.

Google Calendar.

Look at that beauty.

I LOVE Google Calendar! Not only is it a great tool to map out your week, it comes with cool features. You can color code tasks and events, get text reminders and so much more. You can even sync your calendar with other people's (this is very helpful for roommates or study buddies).

Google Doc File Folders

Crying.

Sick of that long list of documents in your Google Docs? You can make file folders to organize all of your docs!

Momentum Chrome Extension

This is by far my favorite productivity app. It's a Chrome extension that acts as a home page whenever you open a new window or tab. It comes complete with the weather, a motivational quote and a to-do list! The best feature is their "main focus for the day". It keeps you grounded for sure- especially when it pops up with every tab and forces you to think about all you need to accomplish.

Wunderlist

This is a to-do list on steroids- definitely worth checking out!

Todist

A to-do list app for your phone! I love this just to organize what my top priorities are.

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